Tips/Downloads Page

Please note: I don't claim ownership of the tips and ideas below. Some of these I've discovered myself, others I've come across in  discussion groups where others have shared them.  I'm presenting them here, because these are the techniques I find the most useful and in most cases, not very obvious. Feel free to share with others and enjoy!

Image Processing

  1.   Brightness Masking  in PhotoShop 

  2.   Improving Contrast of Galactic Dust Lanes using the Unsharp Mask 

  3.   Reducing Star Bloat in PhotoShop

  4.  Removing dark halos around stars after an Unsharp Mask

  5.   Take H-alpha  deep-sky images without an H-alpha filter

  6.   LRGB Saturation Study

  7.   New Color Ratios LRGB Combine Method

  8.   How to determine the optimal sub-exposure length

  9.   How to properly adjust levels in PhotoShop (link to Chuck Vaughn's excellent article)

  10.   Create cool 3-D images from your own Astro-Pix in PhotoShop

  11.   Selecting stars in PhotoShop
            Example: Copying stars between images to reduce star-bloat

  12.   DDP Processing for PhotoShop, including automated action

  13.   Example of using scaled dark frames
    For some great  tips  for  beginner to advanced PhotoShop users, check out Jerry Lodriguss' web site.

Image Acquisition

  1. Autoguiding with ST-4 and G11
  2. SkyMap Pro database of 688 G2V solar-analog stars from the Hipparcos catalog.
    Click here to download   A  plain text file with this list is available here.

  3. Improved Tracking with Gemini Level 3

  4. Gemini Rate Setting utility (GRS) for Gemini L3 mounts that are too slow or too fast

  5. Download AutoDither plug-in for CCDSoft -- automatic dithering between exposures

  6. CFWHM plug-in for CCDSoft - focus like a Pro, and evaluate image sharpness in real-time

  7. STARSIEVE Image Quality Evaluator- sort any number of images by sharpness automatically